Head of Chair

Head of department

Prof. Dr. Kristine Krug

laboratory in sensory physiology
Leipziger Str. 44, Haus 91, 39120 Magdeburg, H91/232   vCard

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  • 1991-1994 BA Honors in Physiological Sciences, Oxford University, UK
  • 1994-1997 DPhil in Neuroscience; Thesis title: 'Ordering geniculate input into primary visual cortex', Oxford University, UK
  • 2010 Diploma in Psychology (Conversion for Postgraduates), Distinction, Open University, UK


  • 2019- Heisenberg Professor and Chair in Sensory Physiology, Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg & Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology, Germany
  • 2014-2020 Associate Professor of Neuroscience at Oxford University, UK
  • 2005-2015 Royal Society University Research Fellow, Oxford University, UK
  • 2001-2005 Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow, Oxford University, UK
  • 1998-2001 Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral Scientist, Oxford University, UK
  • 1998 Max Planck Postdoctoral Scholar, MPI Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany


Academic Activities

  • Board of Reviewing Editors Elife 2019 –
  • Scientific Advisory Board of the German Primate Research Center (DPZ), Member and Deputy Chair 2018 –
  • Scientific Advisory Board of the Göttingen Graduate School for Neurosciences, Biophysics, and Molecular Biosciences (GGNB) 2018 –
  • Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR), Scientific Evaluation Committee Integrated Neuroscience 2017 –
  • Editorial Board, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 2014-2020
  • UK Expert Group in NHP Neuroscience Research 2015 –
  • Newton Advanced Fellowship Selection Panel (Selection of international research fellows) 2014 - 2020
  • Hooke Committee of the Royal Society 2013 - 2016
  • MRC Advisory Board for the Center for Macaques (CFM) 2011 - 2019
  • Royal Society Research Grant Panel 2012 - 2015                                                 
  • Royal Society International Exchanges Scheme 2011 - 2013                                
  • Royal Society International Travel Grants Panel 2009 - 2011



  • 2021-2024 Visiting Professor in Neuroscience, DPAG, University of Oxford, UK
  • 2018 Heisenberg Professor (German Research Foundation [DFG])
  • 2017 Understanding Animal Research Openness Award (with BMS colleagues Oxford)
  • 2016 Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology ([FRSB] elected by resolution of council)
  • 2006 Member of the European Platform for the Mind Sciences, the Life Sciences and the Humanities (Volkswagen Foundation)
  • 2006 Senior Research Fellow at Oriel College, Oxford University
  • 2004 University Research Fellow of the Royal Society       
  • 2003 BA Mediafellow with BBC Radio Science Unit and BBC News Online
  • 2003 Prize for the best contributed paper at the Rank Prize meeting “The Probabilistic Brain” in Cambridge
  • 2002-2006 Hayward Junior Research Fellow at Oriel College, Oxford
  • 2001-2005 Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship of the Royal Society       
  • 1999-2002 Prize Fellowship at Magdalen College, Oxford
  • 1998 Rolleston Memorial Prize of Oxford University
  • 1998 Glaxo-Wellcome Prize of the BNA for the most outstanding thesis
  • 1994-1997 Wellcome Prize Scholarship (open competition)
  • 1992-1997 scholarship holder of the German National Academic Foundation


My research group seeks to explain and alter perceptual decision-making from the level of single brain cells through to mental states. With this work, we aim to understand the neuronal code underlying conscious processes. One fundamental problem is that neuronal activity sometimes represents processes of which we are aware and sometimes codes for information to which we have no access (Krug et al. J. Neurophysiology 2004). Using electrical microstimulation of neurons in rhesus monkeys, we can show how the activity of neurons in visual cortex causally contributes to the perceptual appearance of visual objects. For instance, we have identified a strong cognitive signal in the activity of single neurons in extrastriate visual area V5/MT that shapes perceptual decisions about 3D-motion figures (Dodd et al. J. Neuroscience 2001; Krug et al. Current Biology 2013). This brain area in rhesus monkeys has a structural and functional homologue in humans (Large et al. Cerebral Cortex 2016). We have shown that contextual effects, like expected reward and social influence, interact with sensory signals in the brain and potentially affect visual perception (Cicmil el al. elife 2015; Large et al. PNAS 2019). This has profound implications for our understanding of decision-making in healthy individuals and in individuals with a psychiatric disorder.

In recent years, the closest experimental links between brain signals and perception have been established in awake primates between the activity of single neurons and perceptual decisions. Kristine’s current work builds on this powerful research platform she has built and extends it to increasingly naturalistic settings of perception and action. Specifically, her current work focuses on the continuity of perceptual activities. Rather than treating perception and behaviour as a sequence of discrete, finite episodes, each culminating in a decision, the new experimental paradigms will study of how the brain engages in active, continuous monitoring of the dynamically changing incoming flow of information. Linking the activity of brain cells in non-human primates with human MRI through common perceptual tasks and computational models, she investigates altered decision-making and perception in patients with psychological disorders, like autism and bipolar disorder.

Kristine's work has been funded by the DFG, the Wellcome Trust, the Royal Society, the BBSRC, and the Volkswagen Foundation.

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